There was widespread disappointment in the UK transport industry this week when the Home Office announced its plans to cut funding for TruckPol, the specialist police unit set up to fight crime in the haulage industry.
The Government has decided that it can no longer provide the mere £50,000 a year it takes to run the service - despite that fact that recent statistics revealed a massive 59 per cent rise in lorry thefts.
The unit will now have to rely on private donations. TruckPol head, DC Sue Coutts, told roadtransport.com the unit has enough private capital to survive for at least 12 months, but that more money will be needed if it wants to continue fighting freight crime from April 2012. "Revenue raised from our private sector sponsors and EU project money continues to provide enough funding for TruckPol to continue. We are not losing any staff in the unit and, if anything, the unit is working well. Obviously though, now, more than ever we need more sponsors."
The cut seems pretty small-minded and couldn't be more badly timed. But it does present an opportunity for the telematics industry to step in and help combat the rise in lorry crime by producing tracking equipment that protects hauliers and their cargo.
At iBox technology our 'Check-mate' device has proven a popular and effective tool in helping fleet managers and drivers. system. Our system uses barcode or RFID technology to monitor stock movements on or off the vehicle at the POD. It can also be used to check on board inventories, such as plant and equipment, and allows drivers to conduct vehicle checks which generate exception reports that are sent directly via email to the fleet manager.
With private industry left to police the growing problem of lorry crime for itself, devices like the 'Check mate' seem certain to play a vital role. To find out more about the 'Check mate' and our other devices, contact iBox.